Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Road to Paradise

Okay what’s better than a visit to Santa’s Workshop but not quite as good as a stint working the towel rack at Paul Walker’s home gym? (Hotness!)

Well, we’ve probably all got our own take on that one, but for me (and likely any other writer that’s subbed to the Harlequin Mills & Boon, London office) it’s a trip to Paradise. Paradise Road that is. As in Eton House, 18-24 Paradise Road, Richmond, Surry, TW9 1SR, England.

That address... It gives me chills.

You don’t even want to know how many times I pulled that first letter—the one thanking me for sending in my manuscript—from its file folder just to run my finger along the address line at the bottom. How often I stalked my mailbox, in search of an envelope with that return in the corner.

Paradise Road was where dreams came true. Where all those calls with my editor originated. Where international and exotic came together with smoldering romance beneath a glossy clinch cover.

And last month, courtesy of a six hour layover in London, I had the opportunity to visit.

Knee deep in the New Voices competition, my lovely editor was kind enough to set aside some time to meet with me. Miraculously, she survived the “Thank you for buying my book” hug I’d stored up for over a year, recovering enough to show me around the offices, introduce me to the incredible editorial staff, and explain a bit about how the operation worked.

The offices were open, cozy and comfortable. Cool over glamorous—not that I’d been expecting some kind of mirrored skyscraper out of a Presents or anything! But the space struck me as one easy to settle into. A book lover’s nook. The Eds were fun and welcoming, utterly relatable (one even had the same TWILIGHT calendar hanging on her wall that I have …my sister gave it to me, I swear!), and generous enough to take a few minutes out of their already straining schedules to chat with me. In short the Richmond office was the kind of place I would have dreamed of working, if my dreams hadn’t already been committed elsewhere.

The visit was over too quickly, but then the Eds had plenty of work to get back to…and I had another flight to catch. Another locale to discover. And while Provence was beautiful and inspiring enough that I brought home a spiral full of new story notes, Richmond was definitely the stop in Paradise.


Mira's second book, TABLOID AFFAIR, SECRETLY PREGNANT! as ebook from the Mills & Boon site now. (US release as FRONT PAGE AFFAIR in Jan 2011)

Come back next month to follow Mira through her fist year of publication with FIRST THINGS FIRST.

For more about Mira visit her www.miralynkelly.com or check out her blog at http://blog.miralynkelly.com

6 comments:

  1. Mira, thanks for the glimpse inside Mills & Boon. Fingers crossed I'll have a similiar story to tell one day. I'm enjoying Tabloid Affair, especially the leaf raking scene. :)

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  2. So very cool that you were able to drop in for a visit like that, Mira. I was checking out a map the other day and noticed that Toronto and Wisconsin are actually not as far apart as I'd thought (I probably should have known this before, but I'll be the first to admit I'm horrible at geography). So when I get to me my eventual editor *wink, wink*, I won't really be too far from home. :)

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  3. I agree with Kat and Molly; thanks for sharing, Mira. What a sisterhood!!

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  4. Molly and Kat, Definitely crossing fingers for both of you!((hugs))

    Marily, was such a treat! I had to. :-)

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  5. Hi Mira, What a great peek inside the Richmond M&B offices. Isn't it funny how we latch onto something on our journey to publication and it keeps us focused on our dream. For me it was a Silhouette Desire cover with my name and the title of my book on it.

    Congrats on the second book. Can't wait to pick it up when it hits the shelves in January!

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  6. Thanks so much Cat! Totally, with the cover fantasies. I can't even tell you how many nights I drifted off with some near make-out snap in mind. Or the titles, lots of time contemplating the perfect title with my name, lol.

    Will be looking forward to seeing that shiny new cover of yours!

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